April 7, 2011: Visiting Speaker Dr. Bert Vaux presents 'Linguistic Profiling'
Join us for a special presentation this Thursday, April 7th. You are welcome to invite colleagues from other departments to this event.
Bert Vaux, University Reader in Linguistics
University of Cambridge
Hamilton Smith Hall, room 101
Thursday, April 7th
Recent scientific studies have shown that humans are able to reliably identify features such as gender, race, age, and even sexual orientation from just a short sample of speech. (Test subjects also consistently infer attributes such as height, intelligence, attractiveness, and reliability from speech samples, but the accuracy of these inferences has not been investigated.) Such judgments have further been shown to influence individuals' decisions in matters of social import such as housing applications and legal trials. In this talk I survey the range of such effects, consider how and why the human brain is able to draw such inferences so accurately and quickly, and ask what (if anything) can be done to combat their harmful effects, given that linguistic profiling happens automatically and subconsciously.
You can read more about Dr. Vaux’s research on his Cambridge University website: http://www.mml.cam.ac.uk/ling/staff/bv230/
Light refreshments will be served.